NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The Commission on Election (COMELEC) is ready to accept Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of those running for the May 2022 presidential and local elections.
By this time, aspirants to any of the political positions open for the May 2022 elections should already be in a party line-up or they would be running independently.
That is because the Commission on Elections, in its Resolution 10717 on rules and regulations governing the conduct of election processes in the upcoming May 9, 2022, national and local elections has ruled that political parties can hold their party conventions and nominate their official candidates for all elective positions between September 1 to 28, 2021.
That is because by October 1 to October 8 during office hours Saturdays and Sundays included, the COMELEC would be accepting Certificates of Candidacy (COC) along with Certificate of Nomination and Appointment (CONA) and naturally, Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination (CAN).
Those who could not secure a CONA may file their COCs as independent, said Atty Eliseo Labaria, COMELEC Bohol Election Supervisor.
At the Kapihan sa PIA, Atty Labaria said by then, the aspirant to any elective position, shall also file an accomplished a sworn COC in the form as prescribed by the election commission for the position aspired for.
And by such, he also added that a person can only be eligible to run for only one office in the same election.
Section 17 of the Resolution says an aspirant who files a COC for more than one office shall not be eligible for any of them, thus would be treated as independent.
A remedy, however, would be for the aspirant to personally or through an authorized representative, file with the COMELEC a Sworn Statement of Cancellation to maintain the desired office and cancel the COC for the other office or offices, per section 20 of the same resolution.
PERSONAL FILING NEEDED
And that is why the COC shall be filed by the aspirant personally or through an authorized representative with a sworn and signed Authority to File the COC.
For this, the COMELEC does not accept COCs filed by mail, electronic mail, telegram or facsimile. And in the event that aspirants dilly-dally and file on the deadline, the same resolution says “if at 4:45 PM of the last day of COC filing COC, there are still aspirants inside the designated queuing area intending to file their respective COCs, the Comelec receiving officer will prepare a complete list of the names of the aspirants in the queuing area with completely filled out COCs, these names would be numbered consecutively indicating the time of the listing.
An incomplete COC is deemed if it does not have a documentary stamp attached, no signature of the aspirant, not notarized, no signature of the notary public, incomplete address, no photograph, and it is not completely filled.
Then the receiving officer announces the names of the aspirants, in the order in which they are listed.
Once the name is called, the aspirant shall proceed with the filing of COC, failure to appear when the name is called authorizes the Receiving Officer to refuse acceptance of the COC, adds the resolution.
The same procedure shall be observed if, at 5:00 PM of the same day, there are still aspirants within thirty meters from the designated queuing area. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)